Common Questions During Pregnancy and Birth
  • Arriving At the Hospital for Your Birth
    1. Where do I enter when I arrive?
      Access is limited to specific entrances. View your hospital’s dedicated building entrances before arrival.

    2. Do I have to wear a mask?
      Masking is an effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Staff and visitors are required to wear a hospital-provided mask. While we recommend you wear a mask during labor and delivery, you are required to wear a mask while in public areas.

  • COVID-19 Testing
    1. Will I be tested for COVID-19?
      Yes. Safety is our top priority. Most patients who are having surgery or a procedure at Texas Health are tested for COVID-19 as part of pre-admission testing. If you are scheduled for a Caesarean section, you may instead be asked to get tested 2-3 days before the planned procedure. If you are in active labor upon arrival, you will be admitted to the hospital, and then tested in your labor and delivery suite or OB triage area.

    2. Can I get tested before arriving for labor and delivery at the hospital?
      If your delivery date is known, as it is with a scheduled C-section, you will be tested a few days before your delivery date – or on the day you are admitted – depending on that Texas Health hospital’s current testing policy. You will also be tested again if you had a previous COVID-19 test more than 3 days prior to your admission date. This is because the virus can take up to 14 days to be detected, or you may have been exposed to the virus since your last test but currently have no symptoms.

    3. May I refuse testing?
      Testing is recommended. COVID-19 can weaken the immune system or cause other symptoms that slow healing. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Talk with your doctor about what is best for you. If a test is refused, the patient will be considered positive, and COVID-19 precautions will be implemented for the safety of the baby, patient, visitors, and staff.

    4. Will my support person be tested for COVID-19?
      Your support person will not be tested for COVID-19, but they will be screened each time they enter the hospital and asked to wear a mask. To learn more about the visitor policy for your support person and/or doula, see texashealth.org/COVID-19.

    5. How much does a test cost?
      Coverage varies by plan. Please check with your coverage provider as to what is covered. Learn more about hospital related costs.


  • During Your Labor and Birth
    1. Will I have to wear a mask during labor and delivery?
      Wearing a mask is preferred, and we will work with you to support your needs for comfort.

    2. Are doulas allowed?
      In addition to your one support person, you may also have a paid professional doula at your side for the duration of labor and delivery. We recognize the doula as part of the maternal care team, the doula must pass our current screening process. Please note that if you test as COVID+ the doula will not be allowed to participate as part of your maternal care team.

    3. Will I be separated from my baby if I test positive for COVID-19?
      Texas Health will follow guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of OB/GYN and the Centers for Disease Control for how to keep you and your baby safe during your hospital stay. Ultimately, any decisions about care for you and your baby will be between you and your provider, based on what is best for you both.
  • During Your Hospital Stay

    Are visitors allowed?
    A support person may be allowed depending on the COVID status of the mother, support person, and/or doula, as explained below. There is no restriction on visiting hours.

    • COVID-negative patients are able to have one visitor who does not have symptoms of COVID-19, plus one external, paid, professional care provider (a doula, for example).
      • For L&D/Postpartum doula: No known COVID-19 diagnosis in past 10 days, at least 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and improved symptoms.
      • A support person who is COVID-19-positive is able to visit if:
        • At least 10 days have passed since first symptom(s) or date of initial positive test if having no symptoms AND
        • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without fever-reducing medications AND
        • Symptoms have improved.
        • If the criteria above are not met, a COVID-19-positive support person can visit for delivery only. After delivery, support person will not be able to visit until criteria are met. If a support person is allowed:
          • Support person must wear hospital-provided mask at all times.
          • Support person must stay in mother’s room at all times.
          • If support person leaves mother’s room, they should be escorted out by staff and not allowed to return.
    • COVID-positive patients are able to have one visitor who does not have symptoms of COVID-19. No outside care provider or doula is allowed.
      • A support person who is COVID-19-positive is able to visit if:
        • At least 10 days have passed since first symptom(s) or date of initial positive test if having no symptoms AND
        • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without fever-reducing medications AND
        • Symptoms have improved.
        • If the criteria above are not met, a COVID-19-positive support person can visit for delivery only. After delivery, support person will not be able to visit until criteria are met. If a support person is allowed:
          • Support person must wear hospital-provided mask at all times.
          • Support person must stay in mother’s room at all times.
          • If support person leaves mother’s room, they should be escorted out by staff and not allowed to return.

    View Texas Health’s visitor policy.

  • Additional Questions
    1. Will parents be asked to quarantine for two weeks after discharge?
      We recommend following current public health guidelines on safe distancing after discharge. If a mother tests positive during her hospital stay, she will be advised by her provider on appropriate precautions and guidelines to follow after discharge.

    2. Will I still be discharged with my baby if I am positive?
      You will be discharged following the hospital’s standard protocols. If you are positive for COVID-19, your provider will advise you on appropriate precautions and guidelines to follow after discharge.

    3. How often are care team members being tested?
      Texas Health care team members are required to self-monitor twice daily. This includes checking temperature and symptoms while at work and at home. Care team members who are symptomatic are not allowed to enter the hospital.

    4. When will in-person childbirth and prenatal classes resume?
      There is no definitive date on when in-person classes will resume at this time. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will follow guidance of state and local officials including size gatherings and phased re-opening guidelines.

      Texas Health does offer several online and virtual childbirth classes. Follow this link to view or register for classes.

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